Opioids: it’s an ill wind

The US Organ Procurement and Transplant Network has some good news – in 2016 there were more than 33,500 organ transplants in the US, a record high for the fourth consecutive year, and 8.5% up, year-on-year. Organ transplants have gone up by 19.8% since 2012.

That’s the end of the good news.

The bad is that many more donors probably ended up donating their body parts prematurely. Many more Americans than ever before are dying from drug overdoses, the majority from synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.

In 2015 (latest available data) the number of Americans dying from drug overdose hit a record 52,404 – 63.1% of those from opioids, abuse of which now seems to be out of control.

The first successful organ transplant was of a kidney, in 1954.

Picture source: Flickr